by Jazz Shaw
In some of the biggest news which will not come as “news” to anyone who follows the industry, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality concluded a two year study this week into reports of ground water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. There had been reports of “foul smelling water” in two test wells drilled by the EPA near one of the many drilling sites in the gas field half a decade ago. The initial EPA report which was ready to blame fracking for the contamination immediately came under heavy criticism in the scientific community and was never released. Still the Wyoming DEQ went ahead with this extensive investigation. Their conclusion? There was no contamination of the ground water from the drilling sites and the EPA most likely caused the problem themselves. (Associated Press)
A final state report released Thursday on foul-smelling well water in Wyoming contradicts an EPA report from five years ago that ignited a national backlash when it suggested hydraulic fracturing was the cause of the contamination.The AP story really doesn’t go into the level of detail we need to fully grasp what a debacle this is for the EPA. To get those sorts of facts you’ll want to see the analysis – complete with photos – over at Energy Indepth. Since the contaminants found in the test wells didn’t match anything going into the ground at the fracking site, the DEQ finally sent a camera down into the wells. What do you suppose they found? First of all, the EPA well was drilled in a defective fashion. The artificial materials in the well almost certainly came from the drilling process when the EPA dug the wells.
Bacteria were more likely to blame for the problem in Pavillion than the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking, officials with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality said after a two-year study that was hailed by fracking advocates.
“Today’s announcement from the Wyoming DEQ doesn’t just close the case on Pavillion, it’s a knockout blow for activists who have tried to use Pavillion as a key talking point for their ban-fracking agenda,” said Randy Hildreth, Colorado director of Energy in Depth, an advocacy arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Second, the junk they allowed in there clogged the screens down at the base of the well. This allowed stagnant, standing water to build up at the bottom and it became infested with bacteria and biological agents. (As happens with any stagnant pools of water.) The bacterial infestation was what was causing the smell. The origin of the problem the EPA has been complaining about since 2011 was almost certainly caused by… you guessed it… the EPA. Randy Hildreth at Energy Indepth explains why this should close the books on these claims by anti-fracking activists once and for all.